Missouri’s 2016-2017 deer-hunting season ended Jan. 15 with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reporting a preliminary total harvest of 263,832 deer. Top counties for the overall season were Franklin with 5,272 deer killed, Howell with 5,242, and Texas with 4,608. Hunters checked 273,249 deer during the 2015-2016 deer hunting seasons.
Deer hunting ended with the close of the archery season. Preliminary data from MDC showed that hunters checked 47,550 deer during the archery season. Top counties for the archery season were Jefferson with 1,118 deer killed, Wayne with 980, and St. Louis with 979. Archery hunters harvested 49,759 deer the previous year.
Fall archery turkey hunting also ended Jan. 15. Preliminary data from MDC showed 2,304 turkeys killed. Top counties for the fall archery turkey season were St. Clair with 57 birds harvested, Franklin with 51, and Greene with 50. For the previous year, hunters checked 3,042 turkeys.
The past season was the first in which MDC began allowing crossbows as a legal method during the deer and turkey archery season. Of the 47,550 deer killed under archery methods, 14,336 were with crossbows. Of the 2,304 turkeys harvested under archery methods, 853 were with crossbows.
MDC reported four firearms-related hunting incidents during the fall deer and turkey hunting seasons. All were non-fatal. Three involved self-inflicted injuries and one involved the ricochet of a bullet fragment from one hunter into another. In addition, the Department was notified of one tree-stand fall, which was not fatal.